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Zscaler Cloud Firewall vs pfSense comparison

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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Zscaler Cloud Firewall vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
563,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The solution offers very easy configurations.""The most valuable features of this solution are advanced malware protection, IPS, and IDS.""Firepower NGFW has improved my organization in several ways. Before, we were trying to stamp out security threats and issues, it was a one-off type of way to attack it. I spent a lot of manpower trying to track down the individual issues or flare-ups that we would see. With Cisco's Firepower Management, we're able to have that push up to basically one monitor and one UI and be able to track that and stop threats immediately. It also gives us a little more granularity on what those threats might be.""It has a good security level. It is a next-generation firewall. It can protect from different types of attacks. We have enabled IPS and IDS.""The Adversity Malware Protection (AMP) feature is the most valuable. It is also very easy to use. Every technical user can operate this solution without any difficulty. The dashboard of Cisco Firepower has every tool that a security operator needs. You can find every resource that you need to operate through this dashboard.""The most valuable feature is the access control list (ACL).""One of the nice things about Firepower is that you can set it to discover the environment. If that is happening, then Firepower is learning about every device, software operating system, and application running inside or across your environment. Then, you can leverage the discovery intelligence to get Firepower to select the most appropriate intrusion prevention rules to use for your environment rather than picking one of the base policies that might have 50,000 IPS rules in it, which can put a lot of overhead on your firewall. If you choose the recommendations, as long as you update them regularly, you might be able to get your rule set down to only 1,000 or 1,500, which is a significant reduction in a base rule set. This means that the firewall will give you better performance because there are less rules being checked unnecessarily. That is really useful.""A good intrusion prevention system and filtering."

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"The most valuable features are the VPN and the capture photo.""What I found most valuable is the cost of the platform, the flexibility of the platform, and the fact that the ongoing fees are not there as they are with the competitor. Some people may think you're taking a risk with using Opensource. I think it just provides the end user, specifically for us small, medium business providers of services, the flexibility we need at the right cost to provide them a higher end, almost enterprise type service.""pfSense allows us to spread the hours of connection and do the filtering on the pfSense site.""The built-in open VPN and the VPN Client Export are the solution's most valuable aspects.""The most valuable features of pfSense are the reports, monitoring, filtration, and blocking incoming and outgoing traffic.""I especially like the VPN part. It works like a charm.""I am happy with the EPLS, the radius, and I am happy with the captive portal.""I like pfSense's security features."

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"I like the ease of deployment and its flexibility. We don't need to deal with license, quotes, procurement, delivery, and installation. Everything is software-based, and it's very easy to operate.""The initial setup is straightforward.""Once you have Zscaler running you have access to configure it however you want.""Most of the features that Zscaler has to offer, we will deploy.""The solution is scalable.""Includes advanced tech protection.""The solution offers good sandboxing."

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Cons
"The solution could offer better control that would allow the ability to restrictions certain features from a website.""Report generation is an area that should be improved.""The initial setup was a bit complex. It wasn't a major challenge, but due to our requirements and network, it was not very straightforward but still easy enough.""The intelligence has room for improvement. There are some hackers that we haven't seen before and its ability to detect those types of attacks needs to be improved.""The initial setup could be simplified, as it can be complex for new users.""We're getting support but there's a big delay until we get a response from their technical team. They're in the USA and we're in Africa, so that's the difficulty. When they're in the office, they respond.""Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall can be more secure.""The initial setup can be a bit complex for those unfamiliar with the solution."

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"pfSense has some limitations in detecting site sessions. We want to control internet usage based on sites and their content, and pfSense doesn't perform this function.""The solution requires a lot of administration.""Their support could be better in terms of the response time.""There could be a way to remote to it through a mobile app. You can always browse through your browser on your mobile phone or tablet, but it would be good to have a dedicated app. I understand that iOS and Android developers are expensive, but there should be a mobile app.""ClamAV AntiVirus can cause some crashes. That service should be improved.""The interface is not very shiny and attractive.""pfSense could improve by having a sandboxing feature that I have seen in SonicWall. However, maybe it is available I am not aware of it.""The integration could be improved."

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"The issue right now is probably that Zscaler is not providing web browser isolation. Another solution, Menlo, offers this. For one customer, we had to send traffic to Menlo to do the isolation for us. It was requested by the customer so that they could integrate any iframe. Zscaler needs to add this type of feature in their next release.""It would be nice to have some sort of a form factor, a physical form factor perhaps, or virtual machine that you could install on devices or on a cloud, and have some cloud computing.""Data Leak Prevention is only for web filtering and there is no protection for email.""The product could improve its integration with some legacy systems.""It would be better if they improved their policy, package visibility, and flexibility while we're creating rules for inspection. It could also be cheaper or more things could be included in the basic package. In the next release, I would like better coverage in the Asia Pacific region and better quality of service.""There are some areas it could improve when it comes to blocking, we have to block some things manually. For example, if we block a top-level domain we have seen that the new IPs come through, the IPs are not blocked. There should be some more granular way of doing it. My only request is if you're blocking something at a top level, the sub-level sub-domains and all those other IPs should be blocked too automatically.""Because it's on cloud, it doesn't allow application of extra settings."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount."
  • "There are additional implementation and validation costs."
  • "Cisco, as we all know, is expensive, but for the money you are paying, you know that you are also getting top-notch documentation as well as support if needed."
  • "This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection."
  • "This product is expensive."
  • "For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive."
  • "The price of Firepower is not bad compared to other products."
  • "The solution was chosen because of its price compared to other similar solutions."
  • More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "This solution provides enterprise-level features at a fraction of the cost of an enterprise firewall."
  • "It is an open source firewall."
  • "We are using the open-source version, not the commercial one."
  • "It has almost zero cost, and it is open to us. It runs on a small appliance just for a couple of 100 bucks, and I've never had an appliance burn out on me yet."
  • "It is open source."
  • "I spent a couple of $1,000 on hardware, and the OS was free. A comparable firewall would cost me probably 20 grand. It saved a lot of money."
  • "I like the fact that it is open-source."
  • "pfSense is open-source, but the support is something that the customer pays for."
  • More pfSense Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The licensing is on a yearly basis. It is somewhere around 30 or 40 pounds per user for our organization."
  • "There are licensing costs, and I would not say that it's a cheap vendor."
  • "There is an annual license required for the use of the Zscaler Cloud Firewall."
  • More Zscaler Cloud Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers… more »
    Top Answer: 
    It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Fortinet’s Fortigate is a firewall solution we use and are very much satisfied with its performance. We find Fortigate… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Two of the most common and well recognized firewalls, PfSense and OPNsense both support site-to-site IPsec VPN and… more »
    Top Answer: 
    pfSense is a nice product, and I find that there's a lot of information out there. There are some good tutorials on… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Netscope, Zscaler if they continue route they are on now. FIrewalls needs great deal of automation on each end… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The licensing is on a yearly basis. It is somewhere around 30 or 40 pounds per user for our organization.
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Learn More
    Netgate
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    Overview

    Cisco NGFW firewalls deliver advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from
    small/branch offices to high performance data centers and service providers. Available in a wide
    range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Advanced threat
    defense capabilities include Next-generation IPS (NGIPS), Security Intelligence (SI), Advanced
    Malware Protection (AMP), URL filtering, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), and flexible VPN
    features. Inspect encrypted traffic and enjoy automated risk ranking and impact flags to reduce event
    volume so you can quickly prioritize threats. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering
    for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.
    Cisco Firepower NGFWv is the virtualized version of Cisco's Firepower NGFW firewall. Widely
    deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco NGFWv automatically scales up/down to meet
    the needs of dynamic cloud environments and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco NGFWv
    can deliver micro-segmentation to protect east-west network traffic.
    Cisco firewalls provide consistent security policies, enforcement, and protection across all your
    environments. Unified management for Cisco ASA and FTD/NGFW physical and virtual firewalls is
    delivered by Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), with cloud logging also available. And with Cisco
    SecureX included with every Cisco firewall, you gain a cloud-native platform experience that enables
    greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency.
    Learn more about Cisco’s firewall solutions, including virtual appliances for public and private cloud.

    Providing comprehensive network security solutions for the enterprise, large business and SOHO, pfSense solutions bring together the most advanced technology available to make protecting your network easier than ever before. Our products are built on the most reliable platforms and are engineered to provide the highest levels of performance, stability and confidence.

    Zscaler enables the world’s leading organizations to securely transform their networks and applications for a mobile and cloud first world. Its flagship services, Zscaler Internet Access and Zscaler Private Access, create fast, secure connections between users and applications, regardless of device, location, or network. Zscaler services are 100% cloud-delivered and offer the simplicity, enhanced security, and improved user experience that traditional appliances or hybrid solutions are unable to match. Used in more than 185 countries, Zscaler operates the world’s largest cloud security platform, protecting thousands of enterprises and government agencies from cyberattacks and data loss.

    Check more details: https://www.zscaler.com/produc...

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about pfSense
    Learn more about Zscaler Cloud Firewall
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    Nerds On Site Inc., RKC Development Inc., Expertech, Fisher's Technology, Ncisive, Consulting, CPURX, Vaughn's Computer House Calls, Imeretech LLC, Digital Crisis, Carolina Digital Phone, Technigogo Technology Services, The Simple Solution, SwiftecITInc, Rocky Mountain Tech Team, Free Range Geeks, Alaska Computer Geeks, Lark Information Technology, Renaissance Systems Inc., Cutting Edge Computers, Caretech LLC, GoVanguard, Network Touch Ltd, P.C. Solutions.Net, Vision Voice and Data Systems LLC, Montgomery Technologies, Techforce, Concero Networks, ASONInc, CPS Electronics and Consulting, Darkwire.net LLC, IT Specialists, MBS-Net Inc., VOICE1 LLC, Advantage Networking Inc., Powerhouse Systems, Doxa Multimedia Inc., Pro Computer Service, Virtual IT Services, A&J Computers Inc., Envision IT LLC, CommunicaONE Inc., Bone Computer Inc., Amax Engineering Corporation, QPG Ltd. Co., IT 101 Inc., Perfect Cloud Solutions, Applied Technology Group Inc., The Digital Sun Group LLC, Firespring
    Zenith Live, Azure, Carlsberg Group
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider22%
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Government8%
    Non Profit8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider33%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    University10%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Marketing Services Firm8%
    Computer Software Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider44%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Government6%
    Media Company4%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider24%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Government5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business43%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise29%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business70%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business57%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise30%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business43%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise43%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Zscaler Cloud Firewall vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    563,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 60 reviews while Zscaler Cloud Firewall is ranked 29th in Firewalls with 7 reviews. pfSense is rated 8.6, while Zscaler Cloud Firewall is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Zscaler Cloud Firewall writes "Flexible licensing with good performance and support". pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos UTM, Sophos XG and Zyxel Unified Security Gateway, whereas Zscaler Cloud Firewall is most compared with Menlo Security Cloud Firewall, OPNsense, Check Point NGFW, Fortinet FortiGate and Cisco ASA Firewall. See our Zscaler Cloud Firewall vs. pfSense report.

    See our list of best Firewalls vendors.

    We monitor all Firewalls reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.